October 24, 2012
Story submitted by: Karen Paar
Mars Hill College has successfully completed a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to meet a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant match for its Southern Appalachian Archives. These funds go to an endowment to support an archivist position, as well as a preservation and programming budget for the archives. The capstone event for the fundraising period was a May 2012 “Heritage Comes Home” benefit concert by Americana musicians Bryan Sutton, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Casey Driessen, and Dennis Crouch. The concert explored Bryan Sutton’s musical roots in western North Carolina and celebrated the influence of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, noted collector and promoter of traditional music who was born on the campus of Mars Hill College. Mr. Lunsford’s collection of more than 2,300 ballad manuscripts, instruments, recordings, and an oversized scrapbook is housed in the Southern Appalachian Archives. Proceeds from the “Heritage Comes Home” concert will go to preserving and providing access to this collection.